Making More Progress

I had a pretty good chance to sew this weekend (no long periods of time but lots of an hour here, 90 minutes there) as well as a bit of time yesterday evening and I was able to make a lot of progress on my projects!

I’ve finished sewing together all of the HSTs that form the 15 rows of my quilt.  I also have all of the seams pressed (alternating directions with each row) so all I have left to do is sew the rows together and I’ll have completed my first quilt top!

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I also cut all of my charm squares for the Kate Spade Charm Swap I joined.  I turned this pretty stack of fabrics:

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Into these stacks of 56 charm squares each!  That’s a total of 224 charm squares!

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I’m so excited to get them sent off for the swap and see all of the pretty fabrics I get back.  It actually didn’t take nearly as long as I expected to cut all of the charm squares out thanks to the helpful tutorial on cutting charm squares from yardage that Elizabeth Hartman put together over at Oh, Frannson!.

I should have some time tonight to put some work into my Modern Trees quilt-along project.  I’ve been busy with other things and have fallen a little behind so hopefully a can catch up a bit!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Sewing the Top for the Baby Quilt

I can tell that I’m already getting hooked on this sewing thing.  I’ve had a busy last couple of weeks and didn’t really get a chance to get behind the sewing machine much and I sort of missed it!  I’ve realized that I find sewing to be relaxing and am enjoying adding it to my schedule and making it a new hobby.

I did get a chance this weekend to transfer my focus back to the baby quilt I’m making.  I finished all 180 of my HSTs for it a few weeks back but then set them aside and have been working on other things.

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Well I finally laid out all of those stacks of HSTs into the layout for my quilt top and have started working on sewing the rows together.  It was quite a process trying to evenly distribute the colors across the entire quilt and I had to move things around a few times before I was happy with it.  Thankfully I can leave it on the floor of our spare bedroom and just close the door to keep the dog from disturbing all the squares!

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It is kind of amazing to me how much all of those quarter inch seam allowances add up when you multiply them across the entire width of the quilt top.  Check out how much the rows shrink when sewn together!

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I’m really excited about how it is turning out so far!  What surprised you the most when you were working on your first quilt?

I Won A Giveaway!

As I’m sure many of you saw, throughout the month of September Moda’s The Cutting Table blog hosted a variety of posts that were part of their Measure Twice, Cut Once series for National Sewing Month.

They invited many guest bloggers to share posts about their favorite rulers and how to use them and with each post, they hosted a giveaway!  I really enjoyed getting to see the huge variety in different types of rulers that are out there as well as seeing lots of inspiration for new quilt ideas.  Much to my surprise (because it is a rare day that I win anything), I was actually chosen as the winner of one of the giveaways!

I won a Leaves Galore Template from Sue Pelland Designs and it arrived in my mailbox over the weekend!

The Leaves Galore template is used for cutting pieces for applique.  The curved shape makes it perfect for cutting leaves or petals for flowers and ribbons or vines for borders plus it allows you to still use your rotary cutter to cut out all your pieces.  I also think it could be useful for cutting and shaping the cord for the string of lights border that I’m adding to my Modern Trees quilt!

Sue also has some patterns in her shop that use the Leaves Galore templates (they actually come in three different sizes).  I particularly like these two:

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Hope’s Diamond

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Hot and Cold Flow

I’m looking forward to testing out my new template/ruler!  Thanks to Sue and Moda for the giveaway!

Still Spots in the Kate Spain Charm Swap!

Hope everyone had a good weekend!  Last week, I talked about the Kate Spain Charm Swap that I’m joining with Michele over at her blog, Quilts From My Crayon Box. The swap includes all of Kate Spain’s lines (except for the Christmas/holiday fabrics).

I wanted to let everyone know that there are still spots available in the swap so if you’d like to join in on the fun and get some beautiful fabrics for your next quilt, head on over to Michelle’s post and email her your information to join!  It’s all first come, first serve so once the spots fill up, you’re out of luck.  So head on over there now!

Joining the Kate Spain Charm Swap

I’m really excited to be joining my first swap!  Michele at Quilts From My Crayon Box is hosting a Kate Spain Charm Swap over on her blog.  The swap includes all of Kate Spain’s lines (except for the Christmas/holiday fabrics).

Basically, we’re all picking two Kate Spain fabrics, cutting them in to charm squares, and sending them to Michele.  She’ll divide them all up and them send everyone back 112 different charm squares from all the prints the participants have chosen.  I’ve actually signed up for 2 spots so I’ll be cutting charms from 4 fabrics and ultimately getting 224 charms back (two of each print).

These are the 4 prints I’ve chosen for my contributions to the swap:

Fabrics for SwapI’ll be honest, as a new quilter, I don’t know a whole lot about all the different fabric designers that are out there.  I don’t have a favorite designer or fabric line (although I have seen some that I am really drawn too).  There are just so many different options out there and I simply haven’t had enough time or experience to develop strong preferences yet.

But I do like Kate Spain’s newest line, Sunnyside and I think it would be fun to make a quilt that features just her fabrics.  The different lines seem like they will coordinate together really well.  It probably doesn’t hurt that Kate Spain also makes me think of some of my favorite purses (Kate Spade).  You wouldn’t even imagine how many times I accidentally typed “Spade” instead of “Spain” when writing this post!  Maybe developing some true favorites will come with time.

Kate Spain – Sunnyside

While it will be nice to get a large variety of different coordinating charms for a Kate Spain quilt, I’m also really excited to have to opportunity to hopefully get to know some of the other bloggers who are participating in the swap a little better.  I think it will be nice to connect with some other like minded quilters as none of my friends locally quilt.

Have you ever participated in a swap with other bloggers?  What kind of swap was it and did you enjoy the experience?

WIP Wednesday – 10 Down, 15 to Go!

In between working on my Modern Tree blocks, I’ve also been continuing to work on the blocks for my sister’s quilt.  So far, I have 10 blocks completed so I’ve got 15 left to go.  Almost to the halfway point!

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Having just these 10 blocks laid out on the kitchen floor, I’ve starting to realize how large this quilt is going to be when I’m finished!  Don’t mind my dog, Khloe.  She wanted to help me with the picture taking.  For size reference, she is a 40 lb lab mix.

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And actually, my quilt is going to end up a little bit smaller than what the pattern calls for.  I realized that when I’ve sewn the pieces on my squares together, I must not be lining up the edges exactly how I am supposed to.  The seams all look good but the outside edges of my finished squares didn’t align at all.  And I wasn’t able to trim them down to the 16″ squares the pattern called for and be able to get even sides.  So I decided to make them 15.5″ squares instead.

Thanks for the help Khloe!

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Do your pets “help” you with your sewing at all?  Khloe couldn’t care less about what I’m doing when I’m actually sewing but when things start being laid out on the floor, she gets very excited!